Interview etiquette has changed over the years as less engaged styles of communication have become the norm.
Consequently, thank you letters have fallen out of fashion.
We get it.
It seems like an extra step. After all, you thanked your interviewer in person, and your face-to-face interview was a perfect 10. Why would you need to do anything else?
However, what interviewees fail to realize is following up after your interview with a simple thank you is a great way to sell yourself and reiterate all the value you will bring to a prospective employer. It may seem like more work, but it’s a simple way to take your perfect 10 interview up to an 11.
Below are our top reasons for sending thank you letters:
It’s a great way to stand out
Like we said, thank you letters are on the decline. If you were making a choice between two or three people for a job and only one took the time to say thank you, what would you do?
They show you are serious about the job
If you were a hiring manager, what would you think about the candidate that thanks you for dicsussing your open position with them versus the one who doesn't?
They highlight your compassion
Expressing gratitude and acknowledging the time someone took to speak with you shows a hiring manager you are considerate and have empathy.
Both are highly coveted skills for positions that require interacting with others.
A great way to recap
Thank you letters are your closing elevator pitch. It’s a great way to recap all the different things you personally bring to the table.
They bump your name to the top of the list
You are not the only one interviewing for this position. Sending a quick thank you can be a great way to prompt hiring managers to think back on your interview and your skills.
The post-interview process doesn’t have to be a waiting game where you’re in the dark.
They show off your writing skills
Similar to compassion, writing is more or less a universally required skill. We all say we can write, but sending a follow up email shows how well you are able to do it.
Flexing your Professionalism
Even though thank you letters may seem a little antiquated, some hiring managers still expect them as a professional courtesy. Even if they do not, sending a thank you puts your professionalism on full display.
If you’re not sure where your interviewer falls on the subject, it’s always best to send one just to be safe.
Show off your ideas for improvement
Incorporating ways you would bring value into your thank you letter shows you were engaged and listening in the interview.
It’s okay if you reiterate some of the talking points of your time with a hiring manager; the most important part of presenting your ideas is that they are specific to the company and your interview with them.
Ask any follow up questions
If the spirit of the staircase hits you on the way out of your interview, thank you letters are a great time to follow up with any additional questions or comments from your time together.
If you do have more questions, asking them in your follow-up demonstrates to prospective employers you’re engaged, thoughtful, and are taking this process seriously.
They showcase your initiative
The best part about a follow-up thank you letter is that they are not required. By default, when you send a thank you, it conveys a level of proactivity and initiative. In the hiring manager’s eyes, the simple act of receiving an email demonstrates you are someone who naturally does more than the bare minimum, which is a positive quality in a potential hire.
You want the job
This one is pretty simple.
If you are willing to go above and beyond, this shows you’re invested. From a hiring manager’s perspective, they are looking for someone who is passionate about the industry, the company, the position –or ideally, all three.
Why would they select someone who is indifferent to their position, when there is another candidate actively expressing interest in the opportunity?
The Wrap Up
Remember: Thank you letters are the final opportunity to make a lasting impression after your interview.
For thank you letter best practices, read our article on thank you letter outlines and follow up etiquette.
The post-interview process doesn’t have to be a waiting game where you’re in the dark. Savvy applicants know that sending a post-interview follow-up is a great way to put your name at the top of the leaderboard, and turn the selection process into an active and engaged conversation with employers.